Minister Fritz notes WC Police Ombudsman’s resignation and commends his service
The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, notes that Mr Johan Brand has resigned from his post as the Western Cape Police Ombudsman. Minister Fritz thanks Mr Brand for his thorough work while serving in the post which has impacted positively on the lives of many.
The office of the WCPO seeks to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the police services and to improve relations between the police and the communities by investigating complaints of police inefficiency or a breakdown of relations between the police and any community.
Minister Fritz said, “I note the resignation of Mr Brand and would like to thank him for his hard-work and dedication. Many who have worked with him will know that he is diligent and thorough in all aspects of his work.”
During the 2019/20 financial year, the office of the WCPO has had a 781.928% increase in requests for investigations since its inception in 2014/15. This is an increase from 83 complaints in its first year of operation to 732 in 2019/20. “I welcome this increase complaints as it demonstrates both active citizenry and the growing confidence that the public has in the work of the WCPO, thanks to the tireless efforts of Mr Brand,” said Minister Fritz.
Among the high-profile investigations conducted by the office of the Ombudsman during Mr Brand’s period as the WCPO include the investigations into:
- SAPS in the Overstrand’s (Gansbaai, Hermanus, Kleinmond and Stanford SAPS stations) inability to perform their constitutional and legislative mandate. The investigation revealed a shortage of both human and physical SAPS resource;
- SAPS vehicles being driven recklessly when transporting inmates to and from the Pollsmoor Correctional Facility. The investigation revealed that various instructions and directives, issued by SAPS were not complied with; and
- SAPS’ inability to provide adequate victim support, as prescribed in the Victim Empowerment Program (VEP) of SAPS. The complaint alleged that victims experienced secondary trauma when they approached their local SAPS and that SAPS members were not adequately trained.
Mr Brand said, “I know that our office has and will continue to make a difference in people’s lives in terms of addressing the SAPS Inefficiencies and whilst not everyone is always happy with the outcomes or the findings of our investigations, I am confident that our office has conducted fair, unbiased and thorough investigations.”
Mr Brand continued, “I wish to thank all the WCPO’s staff and stakeholders for their commitment and support during my tenure as the WCPO.”